College Football
Preview
Arizona vs Purdue
When: 8:30 PM ET, Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Where: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California



FOSTER FARMS BOWL STORYLINES

1. Purdue and Arizona didn't figure to be in contention for a bowl game at the start of the season, but they'll go head-to-head in the Foster Farms Bowl on Dec. 27 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Arizona was picked to finish last in the Pac-12 South, but ended up third after winning five of six conference games from Oct. 7 to Nov. 11. Purdue lost its final seven games last year for its fifth consecutive losing season, and then lost starting quarterback David Blough to a knee injury Nov. 4 against Illinois, but the Boilermakers rallied to win their final two games and qualified for a bowl game for the first time since 2012.

2. Arizona has one of the most exciting players in the nation in sophomore quarterback Khalil Tate, who finished the regular season with 1,353 rushing yards at a nation-leading 10.17 yards per carry. Tate didn't take over full time until the fifth game against Colorado, when starter Brandon Dawkins was injured on a late hit on the opening drive of the game, and the California native proceeded to rush for 327 rushing yards in the 45-42 victory - an FBS rushing record by a quarterback. Tate would total 1,207 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns over a six-game span before Oregon and Arizona State found ways to contain him during the final two games, resulting in losses by the Wildcats.

3. Injuries in the Purdue offensive backfield have opened the door for junior Markell Jones to emerge as the primary ball carrier, and he was exceptional in the final regular-season game, rushing for a career-high 217 yards on 31 carries in the 31-24 victory against Indiana. Jones surpassed D.J. Knox as the leading rusher on the season, and Knox is expected to be limited against Arizona after undergoing thumb surgery shortly after the Indiana game. Tario Fuller and Richie Worship have also played big roles in the running game at various times during the season, but Fuller (ankle) and Worship (knee) are both out for the season, further solidifying Jones as the clear-cut No. 1 ball carrier.

TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Arizona -3.5

ABOUT ARIZONA (7-5, 5-4 Pac-12): Colin Schooler wasn't a big-time recruit out of Mission Viejo High School in Southern California last year, and didn't receive a Pac-12 scholarship offer until the Wildcats came forward on Dec. 14, 2016. Schooler has rewarded the Wildcats with a fantastic season that resulted in him earning Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year honors. Schooler finished 13th in the conference tackles and second among freshmen at 7.3 a game, and his 13.5 tackles for loss also tied for fourth in the Pac-12.

ABOUT PURDUE (6-6, 4-5 Big Ten): The Boilermakers will count on senior linebackers Ja'Whaun Bentley and Danny Ezechukwu to help contain Tate, and they should be especially motivated in their first bowl-game experience. Bentley, who was fifth in the Big Ten and tops on Purdue at 8.1 tackles a game, sat out the final regular-season game against Indiana with a bad ankle, but is expected to be 100 percent against Arizona. Ezechukwu was second on the team with five sacks and tied for the Big Ten lead with three fumble recoveries.



PREDICTION: Arizona 42, Purdue 35
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Arizona 7-5 L2 41.8 34.1 4-2 3-3 5-4 1-0 5-4
Purdue 6-6 W2 24.2 19.3 4-3 2-3 4-3 0-0 4-5
Last Meeting
Arizona Purdue
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
9/17/05 PUR 31 ARIZ 24 292 9 283 379 239 140
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Arizona R. Kovalcheck 57.5 283 3 1
Purdue B. Kirsch 43.8 140 0 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Arizona M. Bell 14 47 3.4 0
Purdue J. Void 18 108 6.0 3
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Arizona B. Wood 5 96 19.2 2
Purdue D. Bryant 4 82 20.5 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Arizona B. Wood 2
Purdue J. Void 3
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Arizona K. Tate 61.4 1289 9 8
Purdue E. Sindelar 55.6 1703 14 6
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Arizona K. Tate 133 1353 10.2 12
Purdue M. Jones 92 480 5.2 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Arizona S. Brown 39 511 13.1 5
Purdue A. Mahoungou 33 560 17.0 6
Touchdowns Player TD
Arizona K. Tate 12
Purdue J. Anthrop 7
Quickchart Matchup
Arizona Arizona Off vs  Purdue Purdue Def
Arizona 494.9 yards
Purdue 372.3 yards
Arizona 6.9 yards/rush
Purdue 3.6 yards/rush
Arizona 7.6 yards/attempt
Purdue 7 yards/attempt
Purdue Purdue Off vs  Arizona Arizona Def
Purdue 390.4 yards
Arizona 467 yards
Purdue 4.4 yards/rush
Arizona 4.8 yards/rush
Purdue 6.6 yards/attempt
Arizona 7.6 yards/attempt